Diego Sanchez


Preparing to wrap up career
January 11, 2021
Sanchez announced Sunday via his personal Twitter account that he'll end his professional fighting career after his next bout, which has yet to be scheduled.
The 39-year-old indicated that he'll leave it up to UFC president Dana White to decide whom Sanchez matches up against in his farewell fight. Sanchez has been a mainstay in the promotion since winning the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter" in 2005, racking up a 19-13-0 record in the UFC to bring his overall MMA record to 30-13-0. As a testament to his toughness and longevity, Sanchez has absorbed 1,431 confirmed head strikes during his UFC career, the second-most in the promotion's history behind only B.J. Penn (1,434).
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Not competitive at UFC 253
September 26, 2020
Sanchez lost to Jake Matthews via unanimous decision (26-30, 26-30, 26-30) at UFC 253 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Really, the only positive thing you can say about Sanchez's performance is that he survived to see the final bell. Hopelessly outclassed by Matthews in every facet of the sport, Diego was consistently picked apart on the feet, in addition to generating next to no offense throughout the course of the fight. This has been par for the course for Sanchez for the past several years. All things considered, it's nothing short of a minor miracle that Diego is 3-4 in his past seven fights dating back to April 2017. If Sanchez isn't willing to step aside on his own, it's probably time for Dana White to step in. Diego's toughness has never been in question (nor will it ever be), but Sanchez will be turning 39 years old on New Year's Eve and his body is simply breaking down due to all the wars he has been in over the years.
Fighting Matthews in September
August 18, 2020
Sanchez will take on Jake Matthews in a welterweight matchup at UFC 253 on September 26, MMAFighting.com reports.
Sanchez will be making his return after getting a DQ victory over Michel Pereira back in February. Despite being at the tail end of his career, Sanchez has managed to put up a 3-1 record in his last four fights. Matthews has also been hot, winning five of his last six fights after taking a decision from Emil Meek in February. Sanchez will give up an inch in both height and reach to Matthews, who is over a decade younger. Matthews also has superior statistical marks in striking offense, striking defense, takedown average and takedown defense.
Bailed out by DQ win
February 15, 2020
Sanchez defeated Michel Pereira via disqualification (illegal knee) at 3:09 of Round 3 at UFC Rio Rancho on Saturday.
Sanchez came out with a somersault-style attack reminiscent of the style of Pereira, almost as if he were mocking the young Brazilian's antics. When the fight got going, however, it was Pereira who controlled the center of the Octagon and used his reach edge to his advantage, landing the more effective shots. Sanchez survived the second round, but never truly seemed to put Pereira in any real danger. He ate several knees and was even taken down in the round's closing moments. Pereira started to turn up the heat in Round 3 in search of a finish, landing multiple knees in a row that looked like they were about to end Sanchez's night. However, the last of those knees occurred while Sanchez was considered a grounded opponent, which forced the doctor to step in. Sanchez elected not to continue despite getting clearance, as his vision was affected due to blood dripping into his eyes. Fight fans will be surprised to see this from a fighter like Sanchez who is always willing to put his body on the line, but he'll walk away with a victory (and win bonus) nonetheless.
Hit with retroactive suspension
January 31, 2020
Sanchez was hit with a three-month suspension for failing a drug test Friday, but the suspension was backdated and has already been completed, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN.ca reports.
Sanchez tested positive for ostarine and S-23 on Dec. 12, but his exposure to the substances was revealed to have started on Oct. 26, the date his suspension was retroactively applied to. The violation was deemed to be the result of a contaminated substance, so Sanchez received a lenient suspension of just three months, a period which has already expired. The punishment will have no bearing on his scheduled match against Michel Pereira at UFC Rio Rancho on Feb. 15.
Booked against Michel Pereira
December 4, 2019
Sanchez will take on Michel Pereira in a welterweight bout at UFC Rio Rancho on Feb. 15.
Sanchez was dominated in his fight against Michael Chiesa at UFC 239 in July, losing via unanimous decision. The 38-year-old will get a chance to rebound against Pereira, who lost his most recent fight to Tristan Connelly via unanimous decision at UFC Vancouver in September, which brought his UFC record to 1-1. Pereira carries slight advantages in height and reach, although Sanchez has been difficult to take down in the past as a result of his toughness.